Reader Surly T. sends this letter an anonymous former Oregon Ducks player sent to an Oregonian sports columnist about how going to a Ducks game for the first time as a fan, not as a player, shocked and disgusted him. Excerpt:
Not too long after, a woman a couple seats down yelled for 10 minutes straight about how the players were playing like “(expletive)”. The coaches were being “(expletive)“. The refs were being “(expletive)“. All during the time I was telling my friend how embarrassing it was to have her on our side. And then I started hearing laughter from the surrounding crowd and encouragement of that behavior. Is this really what goes on in the stands? Is this really the type of people we attract???
I remember walking in from fall camp practice and talking to my teammates about how similar our lives were to the TV series Spartacus. We were slaves. We were paid enough to live, eat, and train… And nothing more. We went out on the field where we were broken down physically and mentally every day, only to wake up and do it again on the next. On the outside, spectators placed bets and objectified us. They put us on pedestals and worshipped us for a short time, but only as long as we were winning. In the end, we were just a bunch of dumbass (racial slur) for the owners to whip, and the rich to bet on.
What I described is a business, I know. It’s how it works, and it is something we understand as athletes entering the system, as (expletive) up as it is. For many people entering that system, it’s better than what life has to offer elsewhere. So they take it. But having been on the outside now, to witness this disgusting display of “support”, I know that I want no (expletive) part of it. I will never attend a duck game as a spectator again. I am disgusted by duck fans and I will sit back and observe from afar with high hopes for the player’s success and understanding of their sacrifice, without having to hear the spoiled woes of ignorant fans.
Does this match your experience of game-going? Nebraska fans are legendarily kind and generous. What about other fans?